Add all your Contacts' Birthdays to the calendar with iCalImporter
While PalmOS would automatically add your contacts' birthdays to your calendar, webOS has yet to add that feature in. We have already shown you how you can get your Facebook birthdays or your Google Contacts' birthdays added to your Google Calendar, but there are a few drawbacks to using those methods. First, you may have duplicate calendar events if a contact's birthday is in both their Facebook profile and your Google contact record. In addition, neither of those methods allow for notifications to remind you of the event. Finally, if you have contacts in your Palm Profile or other synergy account, those birthdays will be stuck in the Contacts app, seemingly never to appear on your calendar.
However, webOS App Developer (and prolific homebrew developer) MetaView, the original developer of the UberCalendar patch, has devised a solution to getting all of your contacts' birthdays into your calendar, as well as providing alert notifications for those events. In order to accomplish this, you will need two pieces of software. First, you will need to download the homebrew app BirthdayEvents from Preware or webOS Quick Install. Then, you will also need to purchase iCalImporter from the official App Catalog (available for all webOS versions) for $1.49. After you have these two apps, continue after the break for detailed instructions on how to import your birthdays.
Open BirthdayEvents on your device and tap the green "Create Events" button. You will be presented with options to determine if you want a notification alert to go off before the event (you can decide for "No Reminder" or at noon 1, 2, 3 or 7 days beforehand), and if you want to add just one years worth of birthday events or if they should repeat forever. The app will read all of your contacts from all your synergy accounts and then launch the iCalImporter app. Be patient as it will read through your contacts and update the "Total" number of birthdays.
At this point, you have a few options of how to add these events to your calendar
1. Import directly from iCalImporter
- Simply tap the "Update Calendar" button on the top of iCalImporter app to add these events to your calendar.
- Note that once you create these events, you should immediately go to the Accounts app, find the iCalImporter account and make sure that "Calendar" is turned ON. Otherwise, these events will appear in an "undefined" account
2. Import to Google Calendar
- Instead of tapping the "Update Calendar" button, go back to the BirthdayEvents app.
- The app will provide you with an iCal-formatted list of all the birthdays. From here you can tap the "Save" button and it will save the file to your device (it will be saved on the USB drive as BirthdayEvents[Today's date].ics . Note that this option to save an .ics file will only be available if you have iCalImporter installed on your device
- Copy this file on to your computer
- Go to http://www.google.com/calendar on your computer
- Tap the dropdown arrow to the right of "Other calendars" on the bottom left and select "Import Calendar".
- Find the BirthdayEvents.ics file and select which Google Calendar you want to import the events into. If you want to create a separate calendar, cancel out of this, create that new calendar, and then select "Import Calendar" again
- You will now have all your contacts' birthday in Google Calendar that can sync to your device, complete with any notifications you specified
The main benefit of using a Google Calendar import vs an iCalImporter account import is that you will have access to these events on all your devices, not just the one you did the import on.
So, you may be asking yourself if it's worth the $1.49 to purchase iCalImporter to get your contacts birthdays on your calendar, or if you should just stick with importing your Google and Facebook birthdays instead. Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of iCalImporter
- If a contact has a birthday listed in Facebook and your Google Contacts account, iCalImporter will only create one entry for that birthday instead of two separate ones in your calendar
- You can add notification alerts to your events
- You can download a file for future references or to load elsewhere as necessary
- This import is a static one-time import. So, if you add or remove contacts or add birthday's to your contacts, they will not be updated on your calendar. As your contact list changes, you will need to re-import the calendar
- Many of your Facebook friends may have their birthdays on their Facebook profile (and would therefore before included in a direct Facebook import) but have privacy settings to not send that data to your synergy contact record. So, you may be missing some birthdays if you do not also do a Facebook import, which would result in duplicate listings (although I found that most of my Facebook friends did get pulled in with a BirthdayEvents import)
So, if those benefits outweigh the drawbacks, then go to the App Catalog and pick up a copy of iCalImporter. Also, while you are at it, pick up a copy of MetaView's other app AgendaZ for webOS 2.0 and higher that will give you a great agenda view of your appointments